I will tell my grandchildren that my garden mania began during covid-19 quarantine of 2020. The year when I probably visited over a dozen of gardens and parks in New Jersey and New York, seeking to escape the shutdown for a brief moment. There is something so peaceful about planned gardens — symmetry of the laid out paths lends one a sense of control, no matter how subconscious. Strolling among the pruned bushes, formal alleys, wisteria-covered pergolas and meticulously manicured lawns, I found respite from the dumbfounding news and politics. I’ve now visited almost a dozen of different gardens around New York and New Jersey, and am so happy to share my favorites, so you might visit them this fall as well.
One off-the-beaten-path experience you can enjoy with the whole family is visiting a lavender farm, which is in bloom from mid-June to middle of July. This is a memorable feast for all the senses and one that will gift beautiful scents and photos to enjoy all year long. Check out these 5 New Jersey lavender farms that you can visit to simply breathe in lavender-infused air, pick your own flowers, or pick up lavender beauty essentials and edibles.
I almost don’t want to tell anyone about what is perhaps the best day trip from NYC. It is the ultimate secret weekend getaway from the sweltering city. Really. It’s so delightful that it would be a shame to over-advertise. But I will. Because keeping it to myself and the locals is just torture. Towering… Continue reading Day trip from NYC to the idyllic Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Westchester, NY
Having returned last month from a week at an all-inclusive resort Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Ismeralda in stunning Riviera Maya, Mexico, I began to ponder that perhaps the age of worry-free vacations at a flat price is coming to end for frugal family budgets. While traveling pre-baby, we had been flexible on accommodations in… Continue reading The demise of the all-inclusive vacation
The Hudson Valley Region offers terrific day trip options under 1 hour away from NYC. How about checking out New Paltz with plenty of opportunities for exploration, from historic Huguenot Street to relaxation at the Mohonk House or exercise on the Minnewaska trails?
Can’t decide whether you want to visit a museum, have a kid-friendly picnic in the park, climb a mountain, window-shop antiques or just have a lazy day wandering around a quaint town? No problem, we couldn’t either and found it all in Cold Spring, NY in the Hudson Valley. Plenty of things to do, whatever your… Continue reading A Perfect Day Trip From NYC: Boscobel House and Hiking Around Cold Spring, NY
I’ve always been an easy-going and quick-to-move sort of gal, so when my 7 year old nephew ran into the family room wildly announcing that this was the day to go hiking, complete with waterfalls and mushroom-picking, there was no doubt in my mind of our plan for the day. No need to go far… Continue reading A quick and easy hike to Rattlesnake Falls in Pocono Mountains